We present a checklist of points to remember when booking an international roaming plan.
Are you going abroad on holiday or a short work trip? Apart from grappling with bookings and shopping and other preparations, you must also tick off the most important item on your To-Do list: buying an international plan for your phone.
Never bought such a plan before? Don’t worry, just follow our guide below:
#1 Look for multiple pack offerings.
The service provider must not offer just one generic international roaming plan, but multiple packs that you can choose from. Providers like Airtel have three international roaming packs to choose from, designed on a days’ duration basis. Thus, you can choose between 3 international packs: 1-day (Rs 649 per day), 10 days (Rs 359 per day) and 30 days (Rs 133 per day). Besides, you get free calling (100, 250 and 500 minutes respectively) on the 3 packs, as well as 100 free SMSs on each.
#2 Check out ISD call rates.
Most people are afraid of making international calls while on holiday or when temporarily posted abroad. It is prudent to check the service provider’s ISD call rates before you buy the plan. As mentioned above, some providers like Airtel have free calling for a certain number of minutes, so you can avail of the free minutes and not spend a single Rupee on calls. Or if you want to call for free, then you can log out of the SIM card data and make calls or send texts over free Wi-Fi in your destination country.
#3 Look for ease of purchase online.
The service provider must make it as easy as possible for you to buy the international roaming pack. You are busy arranging foreign exchange, shopping and planning the trip, and you shouldn’t be forced to visit the provider’s gallery to activate the pack. Providers like Airtel let you purchase the pack or plan online, on the brand website. Simply key in your phone number, destination country and browse the international roaming packs currently being sold. When you make a selection, hit ‘Buy’ and the provider will guide you on the next steps about activation.
#4 Check the schedule of charges post-free usage is over.
Though the roaming pack or plan you choose may have free SMSs and calls, it helps to understand how to track your daily consumption. This will help you check how the service provider is calculating the minutes of your usage, and how much your consumption has gone above the free limits. Ask for the schedule of charges upfront.
#5 There should be an option to choose standard roaming plans instead of buying a pack.
Leading providers like Airtel also give you the option to choose a postpaid international roaming plan instead of buying a prepaid roaming pack. The service is activated at no additional cost to you. Activate the service by logging on to the Airtel website and adding your name, 10-digit mobile number and email ID, and follow the next steps as directed.